Along with the ‘servicisation’ of society, innovation in services has become a topical issue. However, analytical and detailed discussion about the nature of service innovations and their emergence is only beginning. This article aims to contribute to this discussion through a theoretical analysis supplemented with findings from two empirical case studies. The theories examined are multi-disciplinary including general service theories, general innovation theories and theories linked to new service development and innovation management. The empirical studies have been carried out in Finland in the fields of real estate and construction services and of knowledge-intensive business services.